onsdag 12 augusti 2009

IAAF issues world championship drugs warning

MONACO — The world athletics championships, which get underway in Berlin on Saturday, will be the target of the most comprehensive drug testing programme ever conducted, the IAAF announced on Tuesday.
Over 1000 samples will be collected, both before and during the competition in Germany, the sport's governing body promised in a statement from its Monaco headquarters.
IAAF president Lamine Diack said the two week championships were a chance to recognise 'clean' athletes.
"I would like to turn our attention back to the huge majority of honest athletes who will arrive at these championships and compete based on their own skill and years of hard work and sacrifice," Diack remarked.
"All this anti-doping work is done to protect them, and so that in Berlin we can join together and celebrate their achievements."
But he went on to warn: "However for those athletes who still consider that they need to cheat to succeed both blood and urine samples collected from this event will be analysed and even stored by the IAAF for future analysis should new prohibited substances or methods become detectable."
Around 600 blood samples will be taken in Berlin prior to the championships and another 400 blood and urine samples taken during the competition itself with all samples being sent to the Cologne and Dresden World Anti-Doping Authority accredited laboratories.
Diack added: "Athletes should be well aware that not only do we have the possibility to store samples, but that already in the past year the IAAF has prosecuted several cases based on re-analysed samples.
"If they think they can turn up to our championships with an undetectable drug and get away with it, then they may be in for a shock, and our recent prosecutions prove this."
Five athletes competing at last year's Beijing Olympics, including Bahrain's 1500m champion Rashid Ramzi, were caught out after samples were re-tested in February and found to contain a new form of the banned blood booster EPO-CERA.
The majority of blood samples taken from the world championships will also form part of the IAAF biological passport programme and be added to the individual profiles of each athlete.
The IAAF say it has been collecting samples as part of this passport programme from selected athletes since January 2009.
The organisation added that the world championships are not all about testing, with the important aspect of education also present in Berlin via the IAAF Athlete Outreach Programme and the implementation of an IAAF interactive online education programme called 'Real winner'.
IAAF staff will be onsite in Berlin to answer any athletes questions and both education programmes aim to raise athlete awareness of the important anti-doping issues.

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